|Lakeland Voices and the Settle Carlisle singers in the Midland Hotel bar|
SINGING IN KENDAL & THE LAKE DISTRICT
NEWS December 20 2020
|Singing on the train – Interrail to Slovenia May 2021, Settle Carlisle Dec.13|
Our choirs in Kendal and Bentham – Lakeland Voices in the Castle Street Centre, Kendal on Tuesdays and Bentham Voices in the King Street Studios, on Wednesdays – are now happening on Zoom (internet video service) and on singing walks while observing strict Coronavirus preventing measures. There is some information about the choirs and the songs we sing here.
|Singing on the train – Interrail to Slovenia May 2021 and Settle Carlisle Dec.2021|
We are natural voice choirs – we make the learning of our songs as accessible as possible, and teach our songs by ear, (so there is no need to worry if you can’t read music,) and include many optional outings such as singing in a candlelit cave, on a mountain railway, on the Lake Steamer over Ulswater, on singing walks through the Lake District, round the fires of country pubs, on a remote Scottish island, and on a tour of beautiful Slovenia singing alongside many of their fabulous choirs. (All our outings are also open for those who don’t normally sing with us.)
|Singing in the Midland Hotel, Applbey|
|Rydal Water – Badger Bar harmony singing with Lakeland Voices|
Don’t forget to see our Facebook photos of recent events here , and visit our free Youtube video learning site which has many of the songs we sing with the harmonies sung individually here and also recordings on SoundCloud here
|Singers greeted with a song as they arrive by train at Ribblehead Dec.13 2020|
|Black Sail hostel singing weekend – the Lake District, January 2021|
Sunday December 20 – 10am Dent singing at the homes of the Cowgill Folk Chorale and other Dent folk in the village, and on a walk – and also at Festive Farfield (all outside.) Meet 10am at the large car park in Dent.
Thursday December 24 – meet at Garsdale station at 12 noon (plentiful free parking) to greet the passengers on the Settle Carlisle line with cheery festive songs and a couple of songs about the famous train crash of Christmas eve 1910 very near here at Lunds – immortalised by Mike Donald (Land of the Pennine God,) and Dave Goulder (Christmas Eve, 1910.)
Then after a short walk, and singing in my garden at Smithy Cottage with festive refreshments, off to the top of Winder and descending just before midnight with blazing torches. The forecast is unheard of – unbroken sunshine all day, with a night of blazing stars to greet us and our walk down from the mountain (please also bring a battery powered torch too, and wrap up warm.)
Christmas Day December 25 – you’re all invited for some warming Chestnut soup and Nut Wellington by the fire in my garden at 2pm here at Smithy Cottage – with festive songs to mark the occasion – followed at 4pm by a Zoom singing session with the rest of the known world.
January 2021 – Black Sail youth hostel – harmony singing weekend in this iconic hostel at the top end of Ennerdale, in the English Lake District. The hostel can only be reached by walking over the fells – which we will do together following a morning workshop in Buttermere village hall. The hostel is warm and comfortable with thick duvets, wood burning stove, gas central heating, well equipped kitchen etc. All the meals are provided – though some help is requested. We will also be singing on walks over the surrounding fells. Experience of hill walking is essentail (in similar mountains eg Scotland, Wales, Lake District, Alps…NOT East Anglia!) £149 (£50 deposit secures a place.)
March 5-7 2021 Lighthouse Singing Weekend – in St Mary’s Lighthouse, Whitley Bay in the North East of England. We will be learning salty songs of the sea (often featuring lighthouses)…and other relevant songs….and singing them inside the fabulous acoustic of this lighthouse. Meals and workshops in the warm and comfortable conference centre next door. Also meeting local singers. £105 includes meals (apart from Saturday night) but not accommodation (plentiful B&Bs in Whitley Bay.)
|Lighthouse singing weekend – Whitley Bay – March 6-8 2020|
March 20 2021 Spring Sing Thing – annual celebration of the return of Spring. Singing workshop in the morning in the Skelwith Bridge community centre, then taking out voices out into the beautiful Lake District for an afternoon of singing together. Bring a packed lunch and your beautiful voices. Songs can be sent in advance. £30. You are also welcome to join us on Sunday March 22 for a day singing Slovenian songs – very useful if joining us on our tour in May, but you are welcome to come even if you aren’t joining us in Slovenia. £25
May 20-27 2021 – Slovenia – a return of this fabulous week in Slovenia which includes a few days and in our warm hearted twin town – Zrece. Concerts, meeting other choirs and singers, walks, sight seeing, fabulous Slovenian food. You are also welcome to join our singing train trip via London, Paris, Rottweil and Ljubljana singing with community choirs in France, Germany and Slovenia.
AUGUST 25-30 2021 – SLOVENIA singing tour – staying in mountain lodges and tourist farms, and singing outside on the mountains and hills of Slovenia. Songs in Slovenian and English. Please send an email for full details and visit Lakeland Voice website. £95 plus expenses (tourist farm accommodation and mountain lodges, travel, meals, etc. arranged by me but pay as you go.) Travel by train via London, Brussels, Munich and Ljubljana with an Interrail pass – or by plane.
September 20-27 2021 – Jura – a return to this wonderful Scottish island in the inner Hebrides – with singing on walks in the mountains, by the sea, on a trip to a nearby island, in singer friendly pubs, and at the Jura music festival at the end of the week. Lovely accommodation near the island’s only village, Craighouse, where the festival is based. Music can be sent in advance and lift shares arranged – or public transport via Glasgow, and the CityLink bus to Kennacraig, Calmac to Port Askaig and the Jura ferry to Jura. £465 including accommodation, meals, workshops, and some outings (not ferries.)
|Jura – Scottish island singing week – September 22-29 2019|
|Singing Cyclists – under the Greenwood tree|
December 3-5 2021 – Dent Folk Carols weekend – with accommodation in lovely old stone cottages in the village, workshops in the fabulous Dent Meditation Centre, pub singing, singing walks, singing suppers etc.
December 11 2021 – Kendal Folk Carols day – singing round the fire in the Unitarian School room in Kendal and Jacobs Join supper in the evening.
December 12 2021 – Singing Settle Carlisle – singing folk carols on the railway from Settle to Appleby and back via Ribblehead – with singing in the stations, on the train and in several pubs. We will be joined by a few local choirs.
|Singing Settle Carlisle – en route from Settle to Appleby – Sunday December 13|
Everyone is welcome – there are no auditions. All the songs are taught by ear – but written music as well as recordings of the parts are available for home study. Lift shares can be arranged. We sing songs in 2, 3 and 4 part harmony from the UK and other countries, many of which reflect the seasons we are singing in.
We also enjoy a number of outings each term, including singing in the pub, occasional optional concerts and a tour of Slovenia (my home town Sedbergh is twinned with a town in Slovenia, and we often join their choirs and learn their songs.)
|Spring Sing Thing – March 21 2020|
Continuing through the summer term, 7.30pm-9.30pm, Lakeland Voices are in the Castle Street Centre in Kendal on Tuesdays, and the Bentham community choir in the Looking Well Studios in Bentham (7.30pm every Wednesday until July 10.)
We will have singing walks through the Lake District on Tuesday evenings with Lakeland Voices in June and July.
There is a termly subscription of £54 (10-14 week term) and this allows you to sing in any of the other choirs as you wish. There are also some big discounts on weekend singing events for those who join for the term, and some extra free singing events too. At the beginning of term, you can come to our first session for free to see if you want to join us. Sometimes we do concerts but these are optional – you are welcome to come just to enjoy the singing.
And the Sedbergh Songsters singing group for those with Alzheimers, their carers, and others who enjoy singing familiar old songs together – Monday 10:30-12 noon at Gladstone House on Maryfell in Sedbergh. Donations requested to Dignity in Dementia.
|Lakeland Voices – Carols in a Candlelit Cave – at Rydal Caves near Ambleside|
Our choirs often meet up to sing together as they do at the Badger Bar in Rydal in the middle of July and December, on our Settle Carlisle railway carolling day in December, at the October Apple Day at Acorn Bank, near Penrith, and in the Strickland Arms near Kendal in mid December. We welcome all visiting community choirs and can arrange accommodation and singing workshops and short walks for you should you wish to visit this beautiful area.
|Penrith Community Choir|
|Dent folk carols – pub singing with Mulldoon’s picnic and Lakeland Voices|
For more photos of singers click here
For photos of Dent click here
Welcome – we hope your visit to the Lakeland Voice website is useful and inspiring.
|Teaching a song in Little Langdale|
Here you can find out about natural voice and harmony singing workshops based in South Lakeland in the North of England for groups and individuals.
The work is led by David Burbidge (pictured here leading an outdoor workshop in the Little Langdale valley) with guest teachers from around the world.
What is the Natural Voice?
We use the term ‘natural voice’ here to show that we express certain core beliefs in our way of working. These include that:
a) Singing is our birthright and should be accessible to everyone, whatever their musical training or experience.
b) The voice has its roots in the body and through releasing the breath and unnecessary tensions a more pleasurable experience of singing can be had as well as a richer and more authentic sound.
c) Harmony singing is a celebration of community and difference, where the empowerment of the different parts creates a richer whole than when everyone is the same
d) And that musical terminology should be expressed in user friendly terms or explained sufficiently so as not to confuse or alienate those who sing naturally.
Many of these workshops use the beautiful landscape in our area especially during our short, singing walks when we take our songs out into the landscape, singing by waterfalls and rivers, in caves, woods and fellside chapels and round the open fires of country inns.
Video of Lakeland Voice singers and Old Foster in a Dentdale wood
Some involve longer tours and will require more fitness such as ‘Lakeland Songline’ long Whitsun weekend with camping in the mountains of the central Lake District, our singing on the top of Slovenia’s highest mountain Triglav (and the climb to get there!) and ‘The Singing Cyclists’ tours.
Our workshops are mostly based in the Lake District and Kendal, or in Sedbergh and Dent, small communities in an area overlapped by South Lakeland District and the Yorkshire Dales National Park. The area includes the beautiful, rounded hills of the Howgill Fells with the spectacular Cautley Spout waterfall, and the serenity of the wooded valleys with their ancient churches and cobbled villages.
We use comfortable village halls for our workshops, as well as my old stone cottage where the river Clough flows outside the window providing its unique accompaniment to our singing. Where possible we sing round open fires with informal singing sessions in remote country inns, and singing fireside suppers under the old oak beams of Dent’s Stone Close cafe or in the Strickland Arms at Sizergh in the Lake District.
For our residential weekends and week-long retreats we hire old country cottages, and self catering hostels and country mansions in spectacular settings such as the Black Sail youth hostel in the Lake District, and Ardlussa house on the island of Jura. We are thus able to provide single, double and twin rooms while maintaining the camaraderie of hostels with everyone mucking in together. These venues range from Cumbria and the Yorkshire Dales, to as far away as the Scottish island of Jura and our twin town Zrece and Bohinj in the Slovenian mountains.
|Gladly Solemn Sound in Cathedral Cavern|
Some of our workshops – on weekends or summer evenings – include singing walks using local caves, waterfalls and magnificent mountain scenery for a different acoustic and as a setting for our singing.
These have included Cathedral Cavern in Little Langdale, Rydal Caves near Ambleside, Yordas cave near Ingleton, Tarn Hows, Martindale, Raisgill stone circle and ‘Long Meg and her Daughters’, through the Elysian Shades beech woods and the rapids of the Dee near Sedbergh, and singing cruises across the lakes at Coniston and Ulswater.
Our workshops in other parts of the UK include country houses overlooking the sea on a Scottish island and the old smugglers’ village Robin Hoods Bay.
What Do We Sing?
Songs are mostly drawn from cultures where people sing as naturally as they talk – folk songs from the UK, Africa, Georgia and the Balkans. Songs in English are drawn from the American Shape note and British folk traditions as well as some jazz and sacred music.
|Bohinj – Slovenia – May 20-27 2021|
|Slovenia – May 20-27 2021 (by David Podrajsek)|
|Lakeland Voices and me (David Burbidge) wish you all a very merry Christmas|